October 11, 2017
Welcome to Udaipur, The Venice of India
There is something about Rajasthan that takes you back in time, a state with enchanting culture yet each of its many cities have their distinct charm for Udaipur its the gorgeous Lake Pichola surrounded by Aravali and of course its architecture with jutting balconies called “Jharokhas”.
I have always been enchanted with architecture and I believe its my sole reason to travel the world. I fell in love with Rajasthan when I first visited my husbands home town; the old haveli’s of Mewar region are awe inspiring, most are carefully restored and converted to hotels so that you can witness the magnificence of Rajasthan and let you experience the luxury at its best.
I recently got a chance to stay in one such Heritage Hotel; just behind Jagdish Temple and at a walking distance from the City Palace stands a quaint building “Jagat Niwas Palace” just afoot at Lake pichola.
A beautiful Marwari Style Architecture restored to its glory and true likeness, the hotel is scattered with Jharokhas and balconies to enjoy a beautiful sunsets or quite mornings overlooking Lake Pichola.
We spent most of our time sitting by the Jharokhas sipping on wine indulging in great conversations and mouth watering food.
As you walk past the Reception to the waiting lounge you are greeted with a massive hand painted mural of lotus flowers in gold and a ceiling embellished with cut work of glass; as you crossover you walk straight into the massive verandah and you are welcomed by the beautiful white building which is marked with colored glass windows, lanterns and innumerable plants & pots and all these small but essential things makes this hotel more charming.
The hotel is furnished with traditional block print upholstery and antique furniture, it is decorated with opulent chandeliers, old family photographs, utterly beautiful mirror work and interesting artefacts and sculptures.
The hotel offers a variety of Rooms but the best ones are the lake facing Heritage rooms which starts from 100$ (6250INR) and the Jagat Suite 190$ (12500INR). We stayed in Jagat Suite, the room was adorned with gorgeous mirror work and beautiful antique furniture. The bathrooms were very fancy with Victorian Style bathtubs, mirror work murals and glass walled showers laid with floor to ceiling in marble. This room had a foyer with glass book shelf as well as a reading nook where you can sit and enjoy your morning tea and then probably wind up your day watching the sunset by the jharokha in your room.
The other rooms we had was equally beautiful dressed in Block print upholstery from Good Earth India in indigo blue, with the characteristic Jharokha and equally stunning bathroom with two separate vanities. This room instantly felt calming and inviting. The lattice of mirror work all around the ceiling made the lighting in this room simply perfect. I shot one of the outfits in this room and the result was beyond beautiful.
Our visit to Udaipur was not just for leisure but for work as well, I had planned to do a few shoots around the property but I was quite skeptical about my plans as mostly you don’t get what you see on websites; but as I crossed the reception and entered the lounge I was pleasantly surprised with various nooks and crannies adorned with gorgeous murals or elaborate mirror work.
Rajasthan is famous for its culture of “Guest is god” and it reflects with their amazing staff at the hotel as well, everyone was extremely courteous, helpful and very well trained. The service at dinner was great and very fast as compared to most of the hotels I have visited.
It would not be wise to come and stay at Jagat Niwas palace and not have their amazing food, you must try the famous Laal Maas (Rajasthani style mutton) or probably traditional Rajasthani meal like “Dal Baati Churma” which was one of my most memorable Rajathani meals ever. We also had the choices like waffles and baked beans for breakfast and were served with Italian for dinner on the roof top, the mushroom cannelloni was outstanding. And if you decide to enjoy their food try doing that at the rooftop restaurant and book as you check-in as it fill up fast.
Having dinner on the roof top restaurant sipping a chilled bear would be perfect way to end your day at Jagat Niwas Palace Hotel. This Roof Top is also iconic as it was famously featured as the venue for rooftop drinks in the movie “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel”.
But then I believe the best things are yet to come…
The pontoon style boat is elegantly embellished with mirrors and decorated with plush Velvet seating and cushions, its really luxurious and ofcourse it takes you around floating like a dream. We spent one of our evenings at the boat for a high tea full of laughter and great conversations hosted by the owners of the hotel.
But above all the experience of watching the light rain and the reflection of the setting sun from lake pichola onto the ceiling of the boat was simply surreal, it was something that cannot be explained but experienced by one self. The glimmering light of setting sun and the rhythm of the hull’s hitting the water was extremely comforting for someone who knows how to enjoy small things..
The Boat takes a ride around the Lake Pichola and you get to see Udaipur from a very different perspective, yes you can do this with a paddle boat but if you came to experience Luxury then why settle for less, enjoy high tea or candle lit dinners under the moon while the boat slowly floats for you to witness the beautiful ever changing scenery of the city of lakes behind you.
Everything about Jagat Niwas Palace Hotel is designed to give you a memorable and luxurious experience I would definitely come back and see more amazing things in Udaipur. And if anyone of you are visiting I strongly recommend this place.